M. A. (Michael A.) Leeson.

History of Seneca County, Ohio, containing a history of the county, its townships, towns, villages ... portraits of early settlers and prominent men; biographies; history of the Northwest territory; history of Ohio; statistical and miscellaneous matter, etc., etc online

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Online LibraryM. A. (Michael A.) LeesonHistory of Seneca County, Ohio, containing a history of the county, its townships, towns, villages ... portraits of early settlers and prominent men; biographies; history of the Northwest territory; history of Ohio; statistical and miscellaneous matter, etc., etc → online text (page 69 of 146)
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in Berwick, this coimty, in 1S39), were pioneers. He settled in Loudon in

1854 William and Rebecca (Ly tie) Noble, parents of Mrs. William T.

Histe, of Fostoria. were early settlers of Jackson. William Noble died April
1, 1863, aged eighty -one years.... P. T. Norris, a native of Ohio, settled in
the county in 1832. . . .Elijah Niebel came in 1855.

Patrick O'Brien, who left, Waterford County, Leland. for the United States
in 1849. resided in Pennsylvania for some time; was joined by his family in
the fall of 1849, and in 'May, 1852. purchased lands in Loudon Townshi});
moved to Tiffin in 1876. and died there March 19. 1885. James O'Brien, lum-
berman at Tiffin, is a son of this old settler .... Thomas and Margaret (McCar-
ty) O'Brien, natives of Ireland, parents of John F. O'Brien (who was born
in Loudon Township in 1855), settled here in 1851, and in 1870 moved to Fos-
toria. . . .John G. Ostein, born in Prussia in 1801, came to America in 1833,


and resided in Wayne County. Ohio, till 1840. when he removed to Tiffin and
the following year to Loudon Township, where he had entered land in 1834.
On this land he lived till 18G7. when he again made Tiffin his home until 1877,
and then moved to Hopewell Township.

E. J. Padgham, a native of England, came to Fostoria in 1854 .... Edward
Preble, a Pennsylvanian. came in 1844 . . . .John Peter, a German, in 1840. . . .
John and Magdalena (Bohna) Portz, natives of Prussia, parents of Nicholas
Portz (who was born in Jackson Township in 1839), came to that township in
1838. and in 1840 moved to Fostoria. where IMi-. Portz, who was a wagon-
maker, died in 1873. . . .John J. and Elizabeth (Hahn) Peter, natives of Oer-
many. parents of David Peter, of Loudon Township, who was born in Loudon
Townshijo in 1842). came to this county in 1833, settling in this township.
John J. died in 1878. aged sixty-eight: his widow is now aged seventy-six

years Abraham and Barbara (Shobach) Peter, natives of Bavaria, parents

of John and Abraham Peter, also natives of Bavaria (former born in 1821, latter
in 1830). came to America in 1840 and settled in Loudon Township on eighty
acres of land now owned by E. Kinney. Mrs. Peter died eleven weeks after
coming to America, and INIr. Peter died in Big Spring Township in 1871, in
his eighty-first year.

Charles L. and Mary (Dillon) Reynolds, parents of Gen. E. Reynolds, of
Fostoria. who was born in Loudon Township in 1852, were among the early
settlers of this township; in 1878 Charles L. Reynolds removed to Michigan;
in 1880 G. E. Reynolds moved into Fostoria. . . .John and Catherine (Winin-
ger) Rinebold, former (deceased) a native of Pennsylvania, latter (still living)
a native of Germany, parents of Jacob, John and Abraham Rinebold, of Lou-
don Township, came to this county fi-om Richland County, Ohio, in 1834, set-
tling in Loudon Township. John Rinebold died in 1854. His widow is now
eighty-four years old .... John Richards, a native of Ohio, settled here in
1837 . . . .David Risdon, after whom the old town of Risdon was named, came
to the county in 1820, resided for a while in one of the log-houses at Foit
Ball, and aided the United States surveyors in the survey of the townships.
.... Abraham and Ann Elizabeth (Fruth) Rinebold, parents of John Rinebold,
who was born in Jackson Township in 1850, were early settlers .... David and
Mary (Johnson) Ritchai-t. parents of John F. and William H. Ritchai-t.
natives of Pennsylvania, the former born in 1820, the latter in 1827. settled
in Loudon Township in 1847, and here died.

James and Agnes (Bunting) Scott are old residents. . . . Zebina Sellen, who
died in 1836, left a widow and large family in this county, although his prop-
erty was near Waimkonetta . . . . D. Shea, who died about fifteen years ago, was
one of the first settlers, entering his land when there was only a bridle path
fi-om Tiffin westward .... Heniy Sheller. a native of Pennsylvania, paternal
grandfather of Amos Sheller, of Loudon Township, settled in 1832 on the
farm now owned by H. Stuckey, in Loudon Township, and here died. His
son Samuel, father of Amos, came to Loudon Township fi-om Hancock County

in 1868. then in 1876 moved to Michigan Christian Siegchrist, born in

Germany in 1816, came to Tiffin in 1841. where he was a carpenter and after-
ward brewer. About 1860 he took up farming in this township .... William
and Mary Simons, parents of Mrs. John Noble, were early settlers of the
county .... John and Elizabeth (Ecker ) Signs, natives of Wayne County, Ohio,
were born in 1818, came to this county in the spring of 1843 and settled in
Loudon Township. Mrs. Signs died June 19, 1884, aged sixty-six years, four
months and nineteen days .... John Seever, a native of Ohio, came here in
1853 Mrs. Jane M. Skinner, daughter of John and Jane (Duncan) Searles.


who settled in Eden Township in 1821, is the widow of the late Morris P.
Skinner, and is said to have been the first white child to see the light of day
in Eden Township, where she was born in 1821 . . . .MoitIs P. Skinner, a
native of Pennsylvania, born in 1811, came to Seneca County in 1882. settling
in what is now Fostoria. He died in 1876. His son, Orlo D. Skinner died
January 1, 1888. The Morris P. Skinner monument of Scotch granite was
put up" by W. D. Bobbins .... Benjamin Stevens, a native of Pennsylva-
nia, maternal grandfather of Frederick M. Fruth. of Loudon Township,
settled in Loudon Township in 1882 : he was one of the first trust-
ees elected in the township, and was altogether a prominent man ....
The Stoner family, after one of whom a postoffice was named, were old

settlers Thomas D. and Fanny (Biddell) Stewart, parents of Francis B.

Stewart (who was born in Pennsylvania in 1885). settled in Clinton Township
in 1888, then in 1854 moved to Wood County, Ohio, where Thomas D. died in
his seventy first year. Francis B. moved to Fostoria in 1858 .... Isaac and
Martha (Daley) Stultz, the former born in Maryland in 1806. came to Ohio in
1 884 and located at Tiffin, then in 1845 moved into this township .... John C.
Springer, of Fostoria. served in the Mexican war .... Jerry Sidlivan, an early
settler of Tifiin. who opened a quarry on North Washington Street, is said to
be now living at Fremont.

The Thomas family settled here some years prior to the consolidation of
Bome and Bisdon. E. W. Thomas wi'ote the first history of Fostoria.

John and Elizabeth (Smilsmer) Vesper, parents of Mrs. Abraham Peter,

settled in Loudon Township m 1848 John F. Veon. an old settler of Tiffin,

who removed to Fostoria years ago, died in November. 1884 John W.

Yrooman. a native of New"^York State, born in 1 <09, father of Mrs. Coridon
B. Sackett, of Fostoria. came to this county in 1882 and located in Liberty
Township. He was the first merchant at Bettsville, and after some years
moved to Fostoria. He died in 1878.

Abner Wade, paternal grandfather of Mrs. John A. Peters, of Loudon
Township, settled in this township in 1882, was one of its organizers and
one of its first officials. Patrick Walsh settled with his family in Loudon, and
died there July 1. 1847. It appears that on this day he went down to clean
the well on his farm, but was overcome with foul air and died before help
aiTived. His daughter, a girl of eighteen summers, went down to aid her
father, but was. like him, killed by the foul current. John Walsh, a son of
this pioneer, is in the jewelry business at Delphos. Ohio, while Thomas is
engaged as salesman at Tiffin. The family owned land on the southwestern

section of the township John Walding. a native of England and a

tailor, came here in 1854 Nicholas and Margaret Walters are old

residents Eli and Mary (Dillon) Weaver, parents of Alpheus Weaver,

of Fostoria (who was born in Loudon Township in 1848), settled in the
township in 1888, where Eli Weaver died. His widow subsequently mar-
ried C. L. Eevnolds, of Fostoria, and is now residing in Michigan. About

1866-67 Ali)heus Weaver settled in Fostoria Benjamin Wells. l)orn in

1825 in Carroll County. Ohio, came to Fostoria in 1842. Levi Wells, another
old settler, has an elaborate monument erected over the grave, which he has
prepared for himself in the Fostoria Cemetery On Henry Wetzel" s monu-
ment in Fostoria Cemetery are the words, " Died October 6. 1868." and the
verse :

"Behold, my friends, as you pass by,
As you are now so once was I;
As I am so j-ou must be;
Prepare for death and follow me."


.... John and Mary B. (Swalley) "Wliealan. the former a native of Ireland, the
latter of Pennsylvania, parents of John Whealan (who was born in Loudon
Township in 1840) and of Sheriff Thomas Whealan, settled here in 1833, and
cleared the farm where ISh: Whealan still resides at the age of eighty-foiu-, one
of the oldest resident pioneers of the township. . . .John and Eliza (Bucher)
Wilson, the former a native of New York, the latter of Pennsylvania, parents
of Andi-ew J. Wilson, of Fostoria (who was born in Fostoria in 1851), came
to Seneca County in 1813 and operated a saw-mill until 1882. Both now live
at Fostoria .... James R. and Rachel Williams, of Fostoria, are among the pio-

David and Hannah (Kiser) Young, parents of Mrs. Elijah Niebel, were
pioneers of this township.

Schools of London. — In April, 1833, school districts were set off. Sections
1, 2, 11 and 12 forming the fii-st district; 3, 4, 9 and 10 the second; 5, 6, 7
and 8 the third; 17, 18, 19 and 20 the fourth; 15, 1(3, 21 and 22 the fifth; 13,
14, 23 and 24 the sixth; 25, 26, 35 and 36 the seventh; 27, 28, 33 and 34 the
eighth, and 23, 30, 31 and 32 the ninth. In June, 1834, the town was redis-
tricted for school purposes. In March, 1834, Wade, Hartley and Ferrier were
elected school trustees, and James Anderson, treasurer of school section. In
October, 1834, Charles W. Foster was elected justice of the peace.

The sale of Section 16, Loudon Township, was decided on by vote, October
10, 1848, when 128 votes were given for and fifty-four against the sale of
school lands. Joel Hales, Abner Wade and Philip Hennessy were judges.
The lands were sold by Auditor F. W. Greene, February 23, 1849, for $7,886
to the persons named as follows: George Adams, east half of the northeast
quarter; Philip Slure, west half of the northeast quarter; William Beems,
east half of the northwest quarter ; Samuel Deveese and G. A. Hudson, west
half of the northwest quarter: Peter Heifer, east half of the southeast quar-
ter; David Young, west half of the southeast quarter; Andrew Lugenbeel, east
half of the southwest quarter; George Englert, west half of the southwest quar-
ter. A few parcels of land were not entirely paid for by oi'iginal pui-chasers,
and were resold by the county. The schools of Loudon Township in August,
1884, presented the following statistics: Number of male pupils, 188; of fe-
male, 113; number of schoolhouses, 10; value of property, $8,000; number
of teachers, 1 /; average pav, $40 and $30; local tax. $2,177.14: total revenue,
14,3(30; expenditui-es, $2,768.54.

General Statistics. — The assessment roll of Loudon Township, in 1841,
gives 18,970 acres valued at 137,508; value of town lots, $2,737; horses, 123,
valued at $4,920; cattle, 290, valued at $2,320; mercantile capital and moneys
at interest, $2,400; total value, $49,885: total tax, $735.80; delinquencies
from 1840, $116.68.

The valuation and taxation of Loudon Township, in 1884, are as follows:
21,518 acres valued at_ $790,490, and personal property valued at $329,980,
aggregating, $1,120,4(0, or $8/8.80 per capita (population 1,275. exclusive of
Fostoria in 1880). The total tax is $12,225.03 with $174 dog tax. A true
estimate of the worth of this township is $2,900,000. The population in 1850
was 1,781; in 1860, 2,465; in 1870, 3,133, and, in 1880, including Fostoria,
7,355. ^

Predial Statistics. — The agricultui-al statistics for 1884, are 4,137 acres of
wheat, product, 45,916 bushels; 31 acres of rye; 17 of buckwheat; 1,088 of
oats, product about 35,000 bushels; barley, 230 acres, 4,529 bushels; corn,
2,504 acres, product 50,000 bushels; acres of meadow, 1,580, tons of hay,
2,075; acres of clover, 524, tons of hay, 597, bushels of seed, 644, acres


plowed under, 30; potatoes. 8'2 acres, product. 10.962 bushels; milk sold
for family use. 1.100 gallons; home-made butter. 58,595: sorghum. 5 acres,
90 pounds sugar and 286 gallons of syrup: maple syrup, 40 gallons; 136 hives,
product. 620 pounds of honey: eggs. 22.230 dozens; 1 acre vineyard. 1,750
pounds of grapes (1883), 36 gallons of wine: orchards, 353 acres, 7.010 bush-
els of apples, 4 of peaches. 11 of pears and 4 of plums; cultivated lands,
12.882: pastm-e. 1.173; woodland, 4,213; wasteland, 56; total acreage, 18,324;
wool shorn in 1883, 3,653 pounds: milch cows, 585; dogs, 174; killed and in-
jm-ed sheep, 64: animals died of disease, 217 hogs, 26 sheep, 32 cattle and 8


The names of the greater number of pioneers given in the foregoing pages
must necessarily recall many, if not all. of the incidents of early settlement,
and bring to mind the varied processes by which the township has been raised to
its present proud position. Looking back about fifty-four years to that day in
April, 1832. when the pioneers assembled to elect officers for their township,
no one can fail to be interested in the story of their settlement. At that time
a few freeholders came fi'om out the wilderness by different bridle paths to
meet as hardworking, hopeful, earnest, honest men may meet. They left
their cabins at early morning to cast an unpurchasable vote, and imder one ex-
cuse or another remained at tbe polls imtil late in the evening, and returned
far into the night. They urged their political lessons in a homely way; spoke
fi-eely of the several candidates; cast their votes, and returned to their clear-
ings * in the wilderness, to battle with pioneer obstacles, until the fall election
called them from their homes again. Going to mill, of course, and marketing
at Kome or Tiffin were delightful holidays to them until David Ferriers' old
horse-mill on Wolf Creek came to dissipate the fond dream of a long milling
visit, and the store of Foster & Crocker, at Rome, destroyed their hopes of a
visit to the county seat. The statistics of the township for 1884, as well as
the general statistics embraced in Chapter XIII, convey at once what the
pioneers and the enterprising spirits who followed them have accomplished.


In the histories of Loudon and Jackson Townships, a large number of names
and a few incidents connected with the founding of the villages once known as
Rome and Risdon. are presented to the reader. In this part of the chapter other
names and incidents connected with the actual settlement of the old villages, up to
the period of their consolidation under the name " Fostoria. " and the story of
the city's progress are related — the information being almost solely based on
public and private records.

The location of the city on the northwest quarter of Loudon Township,
parts of Sections 31 and 32, Jackson Township, and part of Section 1, Washing-
ton Township. Hancock County, extending into the southeastern corner of Wood
Coitnty gives to the city an influence guarded by the principles of localization,
i. e. it claims a large portion of each of three counties as tributary ten-itory.
withoitt creating local jealousies. The eastern fork of Black Swamp Portage
flows through the northwestern corner of the city, while one of the feeders of
Wolf Creek approaches it fi'om the south. The land upon which the city
stands is slightly rolling north and south of the ridge on which Tiffin Street
runs, and broken along Portage Creek.

The early settlers of Fostoria were not backwoodsmen previous to their
coming here. Thev were from a region cleared bv their fathers, and were


little accustomed to the use of the ax. To them a hea\y growth of timber and
the great fallen trees were formidable. A tree was not then, as now. a little
mine of wealth — it was a nuisance to be rid of and to the task of destroying
the forest and subjugating the wilderness, the pioneers applied themselves
assiduously. However, the original forest has not entirely disappeared; even
where the woodman began his work of destruction, a new race of trees, planted
in regular lines, has sprung up to relieve the face of the country and to ofPer
to it that shelter and beauty of which the old time mania for improvement
robbed it. There are many well-kept gardens, lawns and terraced grounds
throughout the city, which, with the trees ranged regularly along the park-
ways, lend a peculiar beauty to the city.

The geology of the district is referred to in the lirst chaj^ter of the history
of the county. * The lime manufactured at Fostoria fi'om Niagara rock claims
the following constituents: carbonate of lime, 55.40: carbonate of magnesia,
43.28; silica, .20; alumina and iron,' .00. This analysis made about thirteen
years ago, points out the lime produced from the Niagara, in Seneca County,
to be equal to that manufactured at Springfield and Carey.

The climate does not vary from that of any other part of the county.
"What it was when the pioneers first settled in the townships west of the San-
dusky, may be gleaned from the following record, made by the pioneer John

January 26, 1826, 21° belo^v. May 8, 1832, apple-trees in bloom; some had

April lb, 1826, snow five inches deep. to plant corn two or three times.

April 23, 1826. maple buds green. June 1, 1832, very cold summer, corn hardly

January 20, 1827, 31° below. got ripe.

Squirrels destroyed wheat and corn in 1827. January 5, 1833, wild geese went toward
October 30, 1827. snow fell six inches. lake; very forward spring.

March 29, 1828, great flood. April 11. to 26, 1834, heavy frosts.

April 25, 1829, two inches of snow. February — , 1835, hay $10 at Tiffin; coldest

February 2, 1830, snow thirteen inches deep. weather ever known here.

December 22, 1830, 41^- below. February 24, 1836, snow eleven inches deep.

February 7, 1831, 42" below. March 13, 1836, snow fell twelve inches.

April 8, 1831, two inches of snow fell. Mav — , 1836, high water.

May 3, 1831, apple-trees in bloom. February — , 1837, snow fell fifteen inches.

July 25, 1831, river verv high: wet summer. great sugar year.

October 10, 1831, high flood. May 11, 1837. corn rotted in ground.

November 21, 1831, winter commenced. January 2, 1838, weather very warm.

January — , 1832, great thaw. January 6 and 7, 1838, John Morrison

February 14, 1832, high water; corn, 3 shil- plowed two days,

lings; wheat, 6 shillings; rye, 4 shillings.

The valuation and taxation of Fostoria for 1S84 are shown as follows: 838
acres valued at $891,090, and personal property valued at $526,180 (a very low
valuation), aggregating $1,417,270, or $443.10 per capita (population in 1880
within the county being 3,198). The total tax for 1884-85 was $32,087.82,
together with $190 dog tax. The great increase in population since 1880
would point out a marked decrease in individual worth. The amount of actual
moneys expended for year ending March 22. 1884, was $36,730.34. The ex-
penditures for year ending April 1, 1885, amount to about $23,000.

In the last chapter of the general history the statistics of population are

* D. p. Lloyd's and Bradner & Williams' quarries on the county line, between Jackson and Perry Town-
ships, just northwest of the old town of Risdon, produce a good building limestone, and a first-class white stone
for burning.

The record of strata made while boring the Fostoria gas well in July and August, 1885, and that ol the
wells at Findlay and Bowling Green are thus given :

FiNDLAY. Bowling Green. I'Ostoria.

Upper Silurian Limestone 277 305 :i07

Medina .Shale 5.3 80 213

Hudson River Shale 474 410 4h0

Utica Shale 2^2 2,i 2•^3

Trenton Limestone, bored through from 1250 ... 1"5


The city is well endowed in the matter of railroads. No less than five im-
portant roads run in and out, affording all the advantages which thirty-four
passenger-carrying trains per day may offer. The Baltimore & Ohio, the Lake
Erie & Western and the ' 'Nickef Plate' ' rvm east and west, and the Columbus,
Hocking Valley & Toledo and the Ohio Central north and south. The history
of these roads is given in Chapter XI.

The first notice of the location of Fostoria dates back to 1825. In this year
Neal McGaffey and some companions fi'om Fort Ball, while engaged in the
search for Elijah Bra>i;on's child (September 20, 1825), camped where Rome
Village was subsequentlv platted. His companions named the camp Fort Mc-

Original Suvveij and Additions. — Eome was platted on the east half of the
southwest quarter of Section (lands patented to Crocker, April 15, 1833),
Town 2 north, Range 13 east, by David Risdon for Roswell Crocker, August
31, 1832. This extended each side of Main Street, extending north fi'om
South Street to North Street, and the name was suggested as an antithesis to
the very unclassical one of Fort McGaffey. Foster's addition was surveyed by
Thomas Heming for Charles W. Foster, in November, 1846.

Foster's second addition to Rome was sui'veyed by Gideon Jones, in No-
vember, 1849, and January, 1850, for Charles AY. Foster. This extended fi'om
High Street, on both sides of Main, to the angle of Perry Street, and along
South Main Street, on west side.

Frank' s addition was surveyed by Gideon Jones for Luther M. Frank, May
11, 1852. This was the southeast corner of the east half of the northwest
quarter of Section 6, Loudon Township.

James Anderson' s addition, west of and adjoining original town, was platted
in November, 1853, by Gideon Jones, surveyor. In the history of the
chui-ches reference is made to this last addition to the old village of Rome.

Risdon was laid off on the northwest corner of Section 6, Township 2 north,
Range 13 east, and approved September 6, 1832, for the owner. John Gorsuch,
by the surveyors David Risdon and AVilliam L. Henderson.

Minears addition was surveyed by Gideon Jones, October 12, 1842, for
Adam Minear. Minear's second addition was made in 1843.

Additions to Fostoria. — In September, 1853, the inhabitants of Risdon
petitioned the county board to be annexed to the incorporated village of Rome.
This petition was granted in January, 1854. In July of that year the name
was changed to Fostoria, and all additions to Rome or Risdon since that date
are known as additions to Fostoria.

C. W. Foster and M. P. Skinner donated lots for public use to Fostoria, in
January and Febrviary, 1855. James and E. M. Fisher's addition to Fos-
toria was surveyed by G. Jones, November 15, 1855. M. P. Skinner's addi-
tion, on west half of^noiihwest quarter of Section 6, Town 2, Range 13 east,
was surveyed by Gideon Jones, May 31, 1856. Foster's first addition to Fos-
toria was*^ surveyed by Gideon Jones, in September, 1859, for Charles W.
Foster on a part' of the east half of northwest quarter of Section 6, Town 2.
Range 13. James Fisher's second addition of out-lots on east end of south
half°of northeast quarter of Section 6, Town 2, Range 13, was surveyed in May,
1860, by Gideon Jones. Andrew Emerine's subdivision of west end of out-
lot 2, Fostoria, was surveyed December 17, 1860, by Gideon Jones. Skinner's
addition, west of his first addition, was surveyed in January, 186)1, by Gideon
Jones. Charles W. Foster's subdivision of out-lot 9, in Fostoria, was sui -
veyed bv Gideon Jones in Februaiy. 1863. Bement's addition was surveyed
in\lugust, 1865, for A. S. Bement. each side of Fnion Street from the Lake


Erie & "Western Eailroad to Fremont Street. Southern addition was made in
October, 1865, by G. H. Heming, for Roswell Crocker> Joel Hales, J. F.
Eichart, Thomas S. Green, Daniel Dunham and Susannah W. Dunham. James
Anderson's second addition, on northwest corner of west half of southwest half
of Section 6, was surveyed by G. Jones in October, 1866. David Keller's sub-
division of out-lots 28 and 29, between William, Union and Fremont Streets
east to the alley, was siu'veyed by Dennis Maloy in December, 1869. R. C.
Caple's addition, south of Plank Road to Union Street and east to Caple
Street, was laid out by Dennis Maloy in March. 1871. Benjamin Leonard's
addition. Section 31, Jackson Township, was suiweyed by Dennis Maloy in
November. 1871. Foster's subdivision of south half of northwest quarter of

Online LibraryM. A. (Michael A.) LeesonHistory of Seneca County, Ohio, containing a history of the county, its townships, towns, villages ... portraits of early settlers and prominent men; biographies; history of the Northwest territory; history of Ohio; statistical and miscellaneous matter, etc., etc → online text (page 69 of 146)